Randeep Hooda 'disgusted' by publicity over kiss
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
The publicity pictures of him kissing Sushmita Sen in the film "Karma, Confessions And Holi" smack of the producer's desperation, says upcoming actor Randeep Hooda.
"I'm disgusted by the producers. Surely they've got more to attract the public to the theatres than a kiss between two actors? By flashing one scene, they're just being cheap and undignified in their promotion. May be they need a less cheesy publicity machinery," Randeep told IANS.
The last time a smooch scene featuring Sushmita was splashed about, she had blown her top. "And she should protest against this tacky publicity again. It's not right," said her ex-beau.
Randeep isn't aware of the film's release plans. "No one has informed me. The kissing scenes are part of the film. And I'm not in the least embarrassed about kissing such a gorgeous woman on screen."
But considering the past relationship between the two was there any awkwardness about doing such scenes?
"We're both professionals. And we were just doing our job. I'm looking forward to the film and to seeing how we look together on screen. It was a great experience working with her because of our association off-screen. It was very funny maintaining a balance between the rapport on and off screen."
However, Randeep said real-life rapport made no difference to what happened on screen.
"Once the camera rolls, the relationship in the script takes over. Of course, there are bits of the actor floating on screen. But I go by the guidelines provided by the script and director."
The actor recalled the weeks spent shooting the film in New York with great affection.
"It was a great experience. I had never been to America before and I was really looking forward to it. I wanted to see the American style of working first-hand. I've always been very inspired by American cinema. The experience boosted my confidence.
"I definitely felt that the way we work here in India is just fine. I've had congratulatory calls from Americans who have seen the film. They liked my performance."
Randeep said boundaries in cinema have disappeared. "But let me point out, 'Karma, Confessions And Holi' isn't a Hollywood film. It's an independent film made by Rapture Films. According to me, Hollywood films are those made by the studios in Los Angeles.
"This independent film gave me a chance to feel very independent. It took very little time to be shot. Having a slice of the Big Apple was a great experience. In essence, Mumbai and New York are very similar. I hired a limousine and travelled all over. I visited every possible watering hole. I loved the freedom and passion in New York."
Randeep's sister was also in New York at the time. "She's a doctor, like my father, and she's got her residency in New York. My sister is my inspiration for becoming an actor."
The actor continues to be extra picky about his roles.
"My first film 'Monsoon Wedding' came out in 2000. Now I'm doing my fifth film 'Risk'. I couldn't bear myself on screen in 'Monsoon Wedding'. So I took a long sabbatical to improve myself as an actor. I got involved with theatre.
"I got a strange compliment about my performance that at the time I thought to be an insult. A distributor in Venice told me, 'In the entire film, you were the only one who didn't seem to be acting.' I took it as criticism and decided to improve myself, though in hindsight it seems a compliment."
Is Randeep a sucker for worldly perks? "I go through these phases where I think all success is so transitory. But the next day I'm fighting for material things. I need money to encourage and empower those around me. It's not about owning two cars. I can only sit in one, but I do drive around in many cars these days. It's very therapeutic."
The young actor is on the verge of signing a bunch of new films.
"I just want to make sure which one to go by. Signing is easy. But would I be able to live with it until its completion? I don't take up a challenge until I'm up to it. Am I a good decision-maker? Sometimes it's better to let the decisions be made for you.
"I guess I'm childlike and I want the child within me to remain alive. I'm awed by life. I'm excited and challenged by life. I've got a certain innocence that I value. I watch my two-year-old nephew and learn how to live," he said.
"When I was helping Naseeruddin Shah with the staging of Kahlil Gibran's 'The Prophet', I read a line that stayed with me. 'If you're looking for god, look at the children playing around you.' I love children and they love me too," added Randeep.